Main characteristics of CoNS species

Species or subspecies a Diagnostic characteristics Site or source of detection b Clinical association (frequency) c
Colony appearanceNovobiocin resistanceOxidaseEnvironment and/or foodAnimalsHumansFBRIOther
S. arlettae Yellow or beige+Textile and tannery industrial effluentsCattle, goats, pigs, poultry, sheepBSI (+)
S. auricularis WhiteExternal auditory canal (principle habitat), seldom on other skin regionsBSI in preterm infant (?)
S. capitis subsp. capitis Chalk whiteCats, dogs, horsesPredominantly on the scalp and arms, less frequently on other skin regionsCRBI (+), PVIE (+), CAPD (+), DRBJI (++)BSI in neonates (+)
S. capitis subsp. urealyticus d White, delayed yellow pigmentation in ∼70% of isolatesPredominantly on skin (mostly from heads, primarily ears and foreheads)CRBI (+), PVIE (+)BSI in neonates (++)
S. caprae NonpigmentedGoatsSkin, anterior naresCRBI (+), CAPD (+), CFDAI (+), DRBJI (+)UTI (+)
S. carnosus subsp. carnosus Gray-whiteFermented food (starter cultures, soy sauce mash)Cattle
S. carnosus subsp. utilis Cream colored after 48 hFermented food (soy sauce mash, fermented fish)
S. chromogenes Butyrous, orange, or creamyCattle, pigs, horses, goats, sheep
S. cohnii subsp. cohnii Unpigmented or, occasionally, tinted slightly yellowish+Dogs, goats, poultrySkinCRBI (++), DRBJI (++)BSI in burn patient (+)
S. cohnii subsp. urealyticus e Translucent with concentric ring patterns c +Apes, clams, monkeys, horsesSkinBSI (+), infected pressure ulcer (?)
S. condimenti Cream colored after 48 hFermented food and starter cultures
S. devriesei Gray-yellow, yellow. or yellow-orangeCattle
S. epidermidis Gray or grayish whiteFermented sausagesCats, cattle, dogs, goats, gorillas, horses, pigs, sheepSkin (preferentially axillae and the head; also arms and legs) and mucous membranes of the nasopharynxCAPD (!), CFDAI (!), DRBJI (!), PVIE (!), and virtually all other kinds of FBRIsBSI in neonates (!)
S. equorum subsp. equorum White+Fermented food (starter cultures)Cattle, goats, horses, sheepDRBJI (+)
S. equorum subsp. linens White+Smear-ripened cheese (starter culture)
S. felis UnpigmentedCats, horses
S. fleurettii Unpigmented or cream colored++Milk cheeseGoats, pigs, small mammals
S. gallinarum Yellow, yellowish tint, or unpigmented+ Chickens, pheasantsCRBI (+)
S. haemolyticus Gray-white, white, or slight yellow tintMilk, fermented foodCats, cattle, dogs, horses, goats, pigs, sheepSkin (preferentially legs and arms)CAPD (+++), CFDAI (+++), DRBJI (++)BSI in neonates (+++)
S. hominis subsp. hominis Dull, gray-white to yellowish or yellow-orangeGoat milk, fermented foodCats, dogs, goats, pigs, sheepSkin (preferentially axillae, arms, legs, and pubic and inguinal regions)CRBI (++), DRBJI (++)BSI in neonates (+)
S. hominis subsp. novobiosepticus Butyrous, gray-whiteCRBI (++)BSI in neonates (+)
S. jettensis Yellow (after prolonged incubation)CRBI (+)
S. kloosii Opaque+GoatsCRBI (+)BSI (+)
S. lentus Gray-white to white or creamy++Soy bean oil meal, meat, milkClams, goats, horses, mink, pigs, poultry, sheepCRBI (+)BSI (+), splenic abscess (+)
S. lugdunensis Cream-white to slightly yellowCats, chinchillas, dogs, goats, guinea pigsSkin (preferentially lower abdomen and extremities)PVIE (++), CFDAI (+), DRBJI (+)Native valve endocarditis (++), wound infection (++), SSI (++)
S. massiliensis WhiteSkin (?)Brain abscess (+)
S. microti Opalescent whitishMice
S. muscae Butyrous, grayish whiteFlies (trapped in cattle sheds)
S. nepalensis White+Environment (not specified)Goats, pigs, squirrel monkeys, bats (guano), dry-cured hamCystitis (?; recovered from human urine)
S. pasteuri Mostly yellow, also whiteFermented sausagesPigsCAPD (+), DRBJI (+), CRBI (?)BSI (+)
S. petrasii subsp. croceilyticus Pale creamy yellowSkin (?; so far only from acoustic meatus)
S. petrasii subsp. petrasii UnpigmentedSkin (?)BSI (?)
S. pettenkoferi Mostly white, also yellowSkin (?)CRBI (++)Wound infection (?), osteomyelitis (+)
S. piscifermentans Unpigmented, white, yellowish orangeDogs (feces), fermented food and starter cultures
S. rostri WhitePigs, poultry, water buffalo
S. saccharolyticus f Grayish whiteGorillasSkin, particularly on the forehead and armPVIE (?)Spondylo-discitis (+), joint infection (?), pneumonia (?)
S. saprophyticus subsp. bovis Creamy to pale orange, also unpigmented+Cattle
S. saprophyticus subsp. saprophyticus Unpigmented or slight yellow tint+ Horses, goats, sheep, cats, fermented foodSkinCRBI (+)UTI (!), BSI (+), NVIE (+)
S. schleiferi subsp. schleiferi Dogs, catsSkin (particularly preaxillary)CFDAI (+), CRBI (+), DRBJI (+), PVIE (+)BSI (+), wound infection (+), UTI (?)
S. sciuri subsp. carnaticus ++Cattle, dolphinsSkinBSI (?)
S. sciuri subsp. rodentium ++Rodents, whalesSkinBSI (?)
S. sciuri subsp. sciuri Gray-white with yellowish or cream-colored tint toward the center, yellowish (rare)++Cats, cattle, clams, dogs and other carnivores, dolphins, goats, horses, insectivores, marsupials, monkeys, pigs, rodents, whalesSkinCAPD (+), CRBI (+), DRBJI (+)BSI (?), diabetic food infection (?), wound infection (?)
S. simiae WhiteSquirrel monkeys
S. simulans Gray-whiteCattle, horses, sheepSkin (legs, arms, and heads of children; occasionally in adults)DRBJI (+)
S. stepanovicii Unpigmented++Insectivores, rodents
S. succinus subsp. casei White+Fermented foodInsectivores, rodents
S. succinus subsp. succinus White+Amber, fermented food (starter cultures)Cattle, insectivores, rodents, songbirdsEye (single report)BSI (?)
S. vitulinus Cream to yellow, rarely unpigmented++Fermented foodHorses, poultryHip infection (?)
S. warneri Gray-white (20%), slightly yellowish colonial center to bright yellow-orangeFermented foodDogs, cats, goats, horses, insectivores, monkeys, pigs, prosimians, rodents, sheepSkin (preferentially nares, head, legs, and arms)CAPD (+), DRBJI (++)Septic arthritis (+)
S. xylosus Orange-yellow, yellowish, or gray to gray-white+Fermented food (starter cultures)Cats, clams, goats, horses, insectivores, lower primates, rodents, sheepSkin (rare)DRBJI (+)
  • a Assignment of characteristics, occurrence, and association with infections might be questionable between staphylococcal subspecies, particularly prior to their definition; in those cases, refraining from differentiation down to the subspecies level, the data were assigned to the subspecies bearing the species epithet.

  • b In particular for livestock and animal food products, as well as for companion animals, contamination by the human CoNS microbiota should be considered and, vice versa, observations of primarily animal-associated CoNS species on human skin could be caused by professional and domestic animal contacts.

  • c Abbreviations: BSI, bloodstream infection; CAPD, continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis-related infection; CFDAI, cerebrospinal fluid device-associated infection; CRBI, catheter-related bloodstream infection; FBRI, foreign body-related infection; DRBJI, device-related bone and joint infection; NVIE, native valve infectious endocarditis; PVIE, prosthetic valve infectious endocarditis; SSI, skin and soft tissue infection; UTI, urinary tract infection; −, unknown, not described; ?, questionable or unconfirmed; +, single cases; ++, occasional detection; +++, frequent detection; !, most common origin.

  • d For literature search, note that this subspecies was originally described in 1991 as S. capitis subsp. ureolyticus.

  • e For literature search, note that this subspecies was originally described in 1991 as S. cohnii subsp. urealyticum. While strains isolated from humans are usually unpigmented and their colonies have gray and gray-white rings, strains isolated from nonhuman primates are (i) usually pigmented with brilliantly colored colonies, with alternating yellow-orange, gray, gray-white, orange, and gray rings or bands; or (ii) show colonies with a yellow-green tint and only a subtle ring pattern.

  • f For literature search, note that this species, originally described in 1948 as belonging to the Micrococcus genus, was transferred from the Peptococcus genus into the Staphylococcus genus in 1984.